The crème de la crème of artisanal chocolate packaging

Alex Bigman

Up until recently, in the design world it was mostly just greeting card illustrators who had a (professional) reason to care about Valentine’s Day. Not so anymore, as one V-day staple has started coming in packages possibly even more beautiful than the magical substance they contain.

No, we’re definitely not talking about Edible Arrangements here. Chocolate, specifically in bar form, is the item that has captured our attention. As with many artisanal revivals (beer, coffee, etc.), the world of small-batch chocolatiering has put a premium on design and given artists around the world amazing opportunities.

We dived into the rabbit hole (seriously, so much good chocolate branding out there …) and dug up these companies as our top ten, listed in no particular order. Looking to impress that special someone? Look no further.

1. Tcho


We had to put a local first. Tcho, based in San Francisco, has earned its position as the reigning chocolatier of the Bay Area. Its designs, by edenspiekermann, emblematize the region with their admixture of psychedelia and tech.

2. Marou


France has a long, rich history of making quality chocolate, but its packaging has typically ascribed to stringent traditionalism. Marou’s designer, Rice Creative, shatters that mold with the vivid colors and gilt lattices on these wrappers.

3. Mast Brothers


What Tcho is to the West Coast of the U.S., Brooklyn-based Mast Brothers is to the East. The chocolatiers themselves, along with their apparently equally crafty friends, handle the design of their wrappers, which employ elegantly old-timey patterns. A real class act.

4. Tilin


Cacao is king in Colombia, where Tilín manufactures the good stuff mere kilometers away from where the beans are grown. Isabela Rodrigues produced the company’s stately brand mark and some striking cylindrical packages too.

5. Wellington Chocolate Factory

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 7.02.01 PM

From across the pond comes Wellington Chocolate Factory—surely the most visually dazzling chocolatiers on the isle since Mr. Wonka himself. They owe their magic to illustration-oriented designer Gina Kiel.

6. Scharffen Berger


Where would we be without Scharffen Berger? Established in Berkeley, California in 1997, the venerable company is not quite of the same generation as the others listed. Its branding, designed by Barbara Vick, is accordingly a little more toned down, but nevertheless exquisite and highly successful.

7. Theo


Up in Seattle, Theo rocks a far-out style, marked by looping letters and bursts of bright color, conceived by Kitten Chops Design.

8. Omnom


A name like “Omnom” tells us two things: this company cannot be much more than five years old, and must have a good sense of humor. The lightheartedness is certainly appreciated—probably especially so in chilly Reykjavik, Iceland, where the company is based—and is well captured by the colorful packaging illustrations, executed by the North South Studio.

9. Casa Bosques


Dipping down to Mexico City, we discover Casa Bosques, which produces some seriously good-looking chocolate whilst rocking a style markedly different from the others. Designed by Savvy Studio, it is spare yet captivating, carrying the air of something marked “top secret.”

10. Compartés


Compartés exudes L.A. glamour, from the stylish typeface of its logo to the optical patterns printed on the chocolate itself. For this distinctive branding scheme we have to thank Kyle Poff.

Have you seen any impressive chocolate packaging designs lately? Share in the comments!

The author

Alex Bigman
Alex Bigman

Alex contributes from New York City on topics ranging from branding and typography to the history of design.


Related articles

Custom packaging 101: Perfecting the Unboxing Experience

Custom packaging 101: Perfecting the Unboxing Experience

Of all the ways an e-commerce entrepreneur can showcase their brand and excite their customers, a brilliant unboxing experience often floats under the radar. It can be tempting to stick to the same white bag or plain brown box, and hope that the product inside will be enough to wow your customers. But as any…

The ultimate guide to product packaging design

The ultimate guide to product packaging design

Packaging keeps the world organized. Whether it’s a packet for your M&Ms, a hamper for your dirty laundry or the bottle that holds the delicious liquid particles of your beer together, the things we put things in are important! So what is product packaging? It’s a practical tool, yes. (I mean, how else are you going…

33 cool & creative packaging designs that keep it real

33 cool & creative packaging designs that keep it real

Product packaging design is incredibly diverse because packaging serves all sorts of different needs. You’ve got bottles, bags and boxes. Oh, and canisters, jars and wrappers. Packaging comes in every shape, every size, every material and every color—for every type of product imaginable. It’s the first impression we get about a product, but also represents…

Current Design Contests

Designers, check out these contests so you can start building your career.